Surgery for seniors is considered serious business by medical experts. Older surgical patients can react differently to anesthesia and the stress of undergoing surgery far differently than younger healthy adults do. Some seniors take more time to recover, are more vulnerable to infection and might experience post-surgical cognitive decline. It is essential that seniors and/or their family members discuss surgical risks and alternative options with their doctors beforehand.
As individuals age, their body systems can slow down significantly. Some seniors develop circulation problems, heart disease, endocrine disorders, bone density, and muscle mass losses or issues with mobility. All these circumstances and a number of others may make an older surgical patient recover slower than their younger counterparts. Some studies show that surgical patients over the age of sixty can take up to three to six months to regain their presurgical functioning status.
More Vulnerable to Infection
Seniors who have developed one of many autoimmune disorders are more vulnerable to getting an infection following surgery. Surgical equipment must be properly sterilized in an autoclave before each case before introducing them to the sterile surgical field. Introducing contaminants into the surgical site can lead to severe infections that may require further surgery to address. Hospitals are notorious for harboring many different types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and strict compliance with OSHA and other governmental regulation entities is required for all types of health care facilities. The surgical operating suites must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated in between cases to meet even stricter cleaning guidelines. Any opening into the body, including urinary catheters, feeding tubes, IV lines and the surgical incisions themselves, put all surgical patients at a higher risk for postoperative infections with seniors facing the greatest challenges. Proper assessment for higher infection risks, appropriate use of intraoperative antibiotics and close postoperative supervision by trained medical personnel for a longer time can all decrease some of these surgical risks for seniors.
Postoperative delirium has long been known to exist in older patient populations undergoing surgical procedures. This condition typically only lasts from a few hours to a few days following surgery. However, many health care experts caution that seniors pose a higher risk of longer-lasting cognitive decline than the average healthy and younger surgical patient population groups. This cognitive decline in elderly patients can last from a week to three months during postoperative recovery, and this cognitive loss can impact memory and the function of many body systems, including the ability to eat, move, speak clearly and ambulate, among others. Usually, POCD (postoperative cognitive dysfunction) is transient in nature and will resolve with a higher level of postoperative care. However, some medical specialists believe that permanent cognitive decline can occur, especially in seniors.
Seniors and their caregivers should discuss these possible postoperative complications with their family doctor, surgeon, and other specialists prior to having surgery. These risks can often be decreased with some preventative precautions and preparations.
If you or an elderly relative is going to have surgery soon, take a look at these tips on how to prepare.
Instead of taking on large, difficult-to-maintain goals, there are smaller, simpler steps and habits that can be embraced, resulting in lasting change and a healthier you. With these four tips in mind you can be more on top of your health without making any drastic changes.
(BPT) - When focusing on personal transformation, many hit the gym or focus on eating right and losing weight. Instead of taking on large, difficult-to-maintain goals, there are smaller, simpler steps and habits that can be embraced, resulting in lasting change and a healthier you.
1. Self-care isn’t selfish
When too many obligations and plans with family and friends become a burden, it’s OK to take a pass. If needed, spending a night at home or retreating to the comfort of your bed can help keep unintended stress at bay. Everyone needs a break from their social life on occasion.
2. Bring on the breakfast
Busy mornings might leave you feeling short on time and skipping out on breakfast altogether. Though it might feel like a huge time saver, skipping breakfast is detrimental to your day. Quick breakfast options that you can prepare ahead of time, like veggie egg muffins or overnight oats, provide energy and nutrients, like fiber, that you need to keep you and your body moving all day long.
3. Treat the small stuff
If you feel that something is off with your body, no matter how small it may seem, acting from the start can go a long way in preventing bigger issues. Treating minor health conditions can be just as important for overall health as visiting the doctor for more serious concerns, like the flu or chronic pain. Quick relief for bum discomfort, such as itching and burning, is achievable with Preparation H Totables Irritation Relief Wipes. They deliver relief and on-the-go cleansing in a discreet, convenient travel pack — so you can easily treat symptoms and get back to your day in comfort no matter where you are.
4. Work, walk, work. Repeat.
Remaining sedentary all day can lead to several physical effects and pains. To help steer clear of these, set a timer and get up for a five-minute lap around the office or house every hour or so. Not only will you minimize potential aches but moving throughout the day can also make you more productive.
With these tips in mind you can be more on top of your health without making any drastic changes. For more information, visit www.preparationh.com.
As the future of contraception remains uncertain, one point bears reminding: access to birth control has come a long way. Whether you’re a woman considering prescription oral contraception or a parent whose daughter is exploring her options, these facts to can help you get to know the birth control pill.
How Well Do You Know Your Birth Control?
(Family Features) As the future of contraception remains uncertain, one point bears reminding: access to birth control has come a long way.
It was not until 1960 that the first oral contraceptives – coined “birth control pills” or “the Pill” –were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and hit the market.¹
Now, more than 50 years later, over 35 varieties of the Pill exist on the market.² Additional options have also been introduced: intrauterine devices (IUDs), vaginal rings, implants and more. Even with the availability of various birth control methods, the Pill remains the most popular form of contraception, used by over 10 million women of reproductive age in the U.S. annually.³
“When my patients express interest in prescription birth control for pregnancy prevention, while individual needs vary, I generally recommend they first try the Pill. If used appropriately, it can be an effective option for women,” OB/GYN Jessica Shepherd, M.D., said. “That said, because the Pill may not be right for everyone, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your options and make the decision together.”
Whether you’re a woman considering prescription oral contraception or a parent whose daughter is exploring her options, Dr. Shepherd shares the following facts to help you get to know the birth control pill:
For additional facts about the birth control pill, visit KnowYourBirthControl.com, and speak to your healthcare provider to determine the method that is right for you.
What is Lo Loestrin Fe?
IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION
Who should not take Lo Loestrin Fe?
What else should I know about taking Lo Loestrin Fe?
What are the most serious risks of taking Lo Loestrin Fe?
What are the possible side effects of Lo Loestrin Fe?
Birth control pills do not protect you against any sexually transmitted disease, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
© 2017 Allergan. All rights reserved.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
¹Selections From FDLI Update Series on FDA History - FDA's Approval of the First Oral Contraceptive, Enovid. (n.d.). Retrieved Nov. 9, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/whatwedo/history/productregulation/selectionsfromfdliupdateseriesonfdahistory/ucm092009.htm
Interested in Publishing on Living Well IDEAS?
Send your query to the Publisher today!